US to fund Mughal monument restoration

Updated: May 04, 2011, 17:51 PM IST

New Delhi: In an initiative to support preservation of India`s rich heritage, outgoing US Ambassador to India Timothy J. Roemer Wednesday inaugurated the final stage of renovation work of a Mughal monument here and also advanced a grant of $50,000 towards the project.

Restoration work at the 16th century monument Sunderwala Burj, in the vicinity of Unesco World Heritage site Humayun`s Tomb, is being undertaken by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) in collaboration with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the Central Public Works Department (CPWD).

"This is a beautiful 16th century Moughal era monument...and also one of our goals is to help the local residents living in the `basti` (slum). So, with the $50,000 contribution from my fund, we hope to achieve both objectives," Roemer told reporters after laying a stone to mark the beginning of the final stage of renovation.

A total grant of $50,437 (Rs.22 lakh) was given to the Aga Khan Trust from the US Ambassador`s Fund for Cultural Preservation.

According to the Aga Khan Foundation, the site is part of the Humayun`s Tomb World Heritage Site buffer zone and highlights the contribution of Mughal architecture to Indian culture and heritage.

"The fund is for preserving, restoring and documenting culturally significant sites and traditions. This fund has given approximately $460,000 to preserve more than 10 cultural heritage sites across India," Counselor for Culture at the US embassy Michael Macy told reporters.

"It`s one of the key programmes of the US to conserve cultures across the world," he said.

IANS